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View Profile rtil
please forgive your useless sister.

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awesome grounds

Posted by rtil - February 26th, 2008


A few months ago ashford pride made a movie with a foreboding title. It was called "Awesome Grounds".

Well ladies and gentlemen, that's might as well what this site should be called (at least right now), with the top row on the front page slot dedicated to an "awesome" movie and an "awesome" parody, an "awesome" t-shirt in the newgrounds store, and pretty much every "awesome" movie in the top 100, along with han's "awesome's creed".

I can't go to newgrounds with seeing something not about egoraptor or his coveted video game parody series. It makes me wonder sometimes if pursuing anything but half-assed cartoons making mildly funny observations about video games laced with profanity is even worth it. Truly, they are what bring the masses of 13-year olds to this site, and thus increases traffic and competition in the internet world. But you have to ask yourself, with this sort of two-bit audience increasing in numbers, are they really interested in watching anything else?

I understand that it's a dog eat dog world in the online entertainment business, and to compete you have to pretty much put up content that a majority of internet browsers would click on. This includes either women or video games. Things they already know they want. And that's all they want. They sign up, watch more, and come back and do it again later. They're trained to know that what they want is easily accessible and is promoted all over the site.

Original content is often shuffled off to the bottom of the page, or never gets any attention to begin with. Now comes into play the whole 'they won't click on it unless there's a boob for the icon', etc etc. That's because they've been fashioned to think that way.

I'm not saying i have all the mysterious answers to the way people's minds work. But this much is true - if all people click on are breasts and video game icons, and you give them breasts and video game icons, you're not pushing the envelope.

Newgrounds is the epitome of user-generated content. We already have a massive advantage over youtube in the fact that making a cartoon involves so much more creativity than snappily editing your webcam footage. So instead of 200 cartoons coming out every minute, we have 200 cartoons coming out every day. That gives someone a better chance of breaking out and being discovered for his hard work, and a reward for a job well done.

But in the same way that viewers are trained that they don't have to go out of their way to avoid original content they would otherwise enjoy, authors are becoming more and more disenchanted with their personal creations and are turning to nerd culture icons and cheap tactics to get viewers.

I can't tell you how many animators I have spoken to that have shunned their own creations in favor of sub-pop culture parody and disjointed scripts sprinkled with toilet humor and profanity. a cartoon catering to everyone who's forgotten what cartoons are all about. And here we are shoving away everything about cartoons that was originally appealing and magical, because we're pretty much forced to.

I'm not pointing the finger at any one person here. I think it's part of the bigger picture - bigger than Newgrounds, too. But if people really care about the future of cartoons and animation, we wouldn't be seeing this kind of blatant favoritism.

People will find what they want if they want it. They don't need to be spoon fed it all.

For thirty years animators who strive to create something genuinely unique have gotten nothing but a slap in the face. It's sickening and it has to stop someday, before they all disappear.

Lastly, this post is not about me. I'm not writing this out of self-pity, bitterness or spite. I'm being honest. I care a lot about the future of animation, and what I see around me is very troubling. The industry is bad enough, but where the future lies is in the small corners of the animation world. Newgrounds is one of them. I spend a lot of time trying to encourage and teach frame-by-frame animation, and creating your own characters and scripts. That is what is important to me. If I really cared about being popular, my list of flash cartoons would look a lot different.

Below is a lovely review describing the bright future of newgrounds.

awesome grounds


Comments (182)

It's sad and true.

Well put RTIL.

Egoraptor is awesome.

hey look it's the tweenfest team

I have to give credit where credit is due - I DO like ego's movies. I've generally grown to despise parodies of all kinds now (even my own) but I find his well made, well acted, and clever given the material he's working with.

Anyways, I'm just chiming in to say I generally agree with your points. But hey what can we do...we live in a world where every queer in the internet has an ever shortening attention span and all they crave are cute animal videos, top ten lists, game parodies, etc.

At this point I'm just praying an asteroid vaporizes the entire planet before any humans can escape it.

I think something can be done, but I think a lot of people ask the question "why bother". I guess it's a matter of how hard you want to work towards it.

Well, I have a split opinion. I used to come here a lot when I was in high school, and I never saw the top 50 change. It seems like within the past year, though, it's gotten to the point where it changes almost daily. This could be a good thing, because more people are getting exposure, but like they say on the Incredibles, when everyone's special, no one is.

It isn't really a good thing, though, because the movies that are getting high ratings don't really have great animation. Some of them do, but there getting beat out by some really stupid inane stuff.

Honestly, I think we're just a little spoiled here. Newgrounds has always been about promoting 13 year old humor. It's just, now that we're older, we have more appreciation for animation as an art form and we don't find fart jokes and gore funny anymore. The older crowd is making some great animation, like Alladin, Brackenwood, Blockhead, etc, but those are overrun by the other stuff.

Now, we can be elitist if we want to, but that would defeat the whole point of Newgrounds. So I guess I'm torn. It would be nice if there was another community devoted to good animation, but it wouldn't be very big. People don't care about that kind of stuff anymore. The TV neworks figured it out a while ago.

At least the Awesome series has passable animation. And Egoraptor is moving on to other projects. Maybe he feels the same way.

well said mate!
Though i love ego's parody animations, i do see this happening and agree with your points.
It's frustrating to see a beautiful piece of animation that has something to say drop in popularity or score once put on the front page simply because the people accessing it from there don't appreciate the work and passion used to create it and are instead just looking for a cheap laugh. Thus the best writers and animators must work harder to incorporate that quick gag humour into they're otherwise meaningful creations.
We just gotta adapt man, work through it, evolution!! :P

Let me first say: I agree.
BUT (yes, there is a but), I don't think Egoraptors cartoons are bad. It is true that they probably doesn't belong in the top fityes, but they still are good. The humor is the clue about Egoraptors cartoons, and that is what the audience want. Yes, the audience may be retarded 13 year-old chimpanzees (no offence) with a trash can for brain, but they are still the people who decide what is 1337 and what is not. I'm not saying they are right, but we just have to accept it. What Newgrounds should have, was a top fifty for each category of flashes.
You will probably be glad to hear that there are no more "Awesome" cartoons on the way from Egoraptor, and he said he was going to increase his skills to make better flashes (not that his flashes are bad). Hopes that cheers you up:P

I love your flashes. You should just continue making them so people can be inspired, and maybe one day we will see "Freetowngrounds". ;P

As always: keep up the good work!

I disagree, I think his cartoons are bad and for lots of reasons. I won't get into it, but to call them cartoons is a disgrace.

I would not like to see a "Freetowngrounds", not everyone likes my work and I would hate to have it shoved down people's throats.

Well, I actually sat down and read the whole article and I do agree with you. I may not be an animator or an artist but this is what I want to say.

Everyone are bought up differently around the world, and of course this means that people aren't supposed to like everything the same. They have different taste and enjoy different things altogether. The Metal Gear Awesome 2 is just one of the "genre" of flash movie that was put on Newgrounds as free entertainment for us to watch (and to generate more viewers, money, etc. for the site if you want to put it that way.) And Yes, I happened to enjoyed it though (yes, insult me as a tasteless stupid person or whatever you usually do.)

I understand why you're upset though. MGA 2 got a whooping score of 4.7 (at least right now) while your Freetown - Metropolis Circuit, an animation movie which involves excellent physic and MUCH GREATER display of animation techniques got a lower score. It is harsh indeed. Well, the score actually even surpasses Adam Phillip's Water lollies.

However, I want you to look at it this way:

A classic music symphony which performs with over a dozen of musician who are extremely skilled while a Rock band with only have like a few members got more popularity and fans.

Can we really compare classic music with rock and roll? Well, I don't think so. But classic music pieces which are supposed to be more well-made and sophisticated got less appreciation is pretty sad actually.

BUT! There are still people who are still listening to classic music, at least even I do.

What I want to tell you is that don't give up animation... There will always be people who appreciate your original work ( I'm one of them) but I understand that you're totally angry because it receives much less exposure compare to the parody flash. But you just have to deal with it, this is how the world is, unfortunately.

true... in my last movie i tried to do something original, style wise specially, even though i got daily 2nd, the views and the voting were not really what i was expecting at all... and i did it specially for this reason, to show it to newgrounds, and i think i kind of... failed...

but still, he can do voice acting, thats for sure, and the script is well made in my opinion, maybe the drawing is simple but thats part of its appeal... and i dont see anything wrong with parodies... sure, they sometimes win over original content, but i think, that only happen when they are well made, otherwise they are just a momentary hit, and thats all... nothing really remarkable.

And i think im going to try someday with a parody of somoe sort... maybe if you beat them, join them... but only for testing purposes, to see how well it will work.

Wow. That review's just made my heart sink.

Then again, Ego did say he was going to stop Awesome, and that MGA2 was the Awesome Finale - and I have to admit, what he doesn't do that is 'awesome', is actually very awesome indeed. He's a wonderful drawer, with a great sense of movement and a quick growing knowledge of Flash, so whatever movie he does next, I'm eagerly awaiting.

But here's something else to back up rtil's view: remember back when Awesome's Creed was made? Do any of you remember something called 'Assassin's Weed'? It was on the front page, it got Daily 4th place, and I kind of liked it. BUT, most people didn't, as opposed to AC, which everyone loved. I remember one review of AW going like this: "This is terrible It's not even original, even it's name. There's Awesome's Creed on the front page, so you probably went 'I'll jump on the bandwagon'. All you did was take AC, make it bad, and change the 'Creed' to 'Weed'. HAAHAHALOL DRUG REFERENCE! Yeah, right. Go to hell, dude."

I'm sure that wasn't the case. Awesome's Creed took 8 hours, and Hans didn't even like it. Assassin's Weed probably took a week or so, was carefully planned out, was solely inspired by Assassin's Creed, and the author was happy with his result. I admit, the humour of AW wasn't as good as AC, but they had the same jokes - AC told them Awesomely, and AW didn't. I guess that AC was stamping on AW's nose because it just was 'Awesome'. It's become the perfect formula for success on the Internet, like 'My New Grounds' briefly became. No one cares about the love of making characters come to life, introduced by the veterans of animation in the early 1900's - now they're just in it for the fame.

I'm happy Ego's gone ahead, now. That said, I still did like most of his movies, and I'm also tossing the idea of doing a couple of Awesome tributes myself. Probably because everyone, deep down inside, craves that fame. I think this argument is kind of like dustball's "Go Away", except with Internet Flash celebrities.

What a world we've gotten into.

You used a lot of words to say you are bitter that Egoraptor surpassed you on the top 50.

Honestly, whilst you were civil and I guess, thorough, in your little rant, it's no secret you've had animosity towards Egoraptors success.

I just think it simply bugs the hell out of you his humor and entertainment trumps all the effort you put in to your little films.

I admire traditional animation skills as anyone else, but ultimatley, a cartoon is suposed to entertain, it doesn't always have to look beautiful.

By the way, check your sources. A quick look at the rest of Masterswordman's reviews shows he was likely being sarcastic. Or you knew that, and perhaps were just trying to provide a deceptive piece of evidence?

Irregardless, I find your theory flawed. While Newgrounds demographic certainly has an affinity for crude humor, the more worthwhile stuff always tends to see light, case in point Bitey, Edible Castle, Salad Fingers. No tits or joysticks there, lad.

I think your scarf is on too tight.

If you think this is some kind of popularity contest, get lost.

"cant beat them, join them" i meant...

and that could be a good technique, if you think you (not you, rtil, a generailized you) have enough underappreciated original content try to make a good parody to see if you can boost your original content... as i said you as a test, or just to expand your audienece...

Personally i do enjoy some of egoraptor's movies. This isn't generally because all i want to see are video game parodies, i personally have never played any of the metal gear series and don't particularly intend to.

I think he picks up on some witty points in some of the games he parodies in that simple almost comic strip style. But. I'm not completely disagreeing with what your saying. It's a shame that bold new flash creations are being dragged to the depths of the Internet were as unoriginal and overdone animations are being taken to the top on a golden elevator.

It's just , as you say, the way the majority of flash watching Internet users crave; parodies of their favourite game, or as Utah put it, animations filled with shiny eyed fluffy happy mammal type things that just bounce around doing fuck all.

Hopefully rummaging in the depths of new grounds to find animations with original characters and jokes isn't something we all get used to.
This is why I'm glad the Internet still has a grasp of animators such as yourself and the likes of David firth.

This is all very true. I'm sure Tom always tries to put as much original flash on the front page as he can, but he always has to cater to the more mainstream audience to keep the site's traffic going and bring home the bacon to keep NG up and running.

As for Ego's movies, I enjoy them, but I realize they aren't the "MOST BESTEST FLASH EVAR!"

The review up there, I guess, is just one of the setbacks of increased site usage that the rest of us have to put up with.

"WOAH, JOO CANN TWEEN SPRITES!!!11!!ONEONE"

We need more people on this site like Bob Clampett.

I'd rather have just a few fans who appreciate my original content than millions of fans who only appreciate my Mario-vs.-Sonic sprite movies.

Generally speaking, I think that Egoraptor found a niche and struck at the right time. I watched a documentary about the british comedian Ricky Gervais and about his rise to fame, and I don't think Egoraptor's success is too much different. The documentary mentioned that Ricky Gervais' material really did hit at the right time, it wasn't totally new or original, but it was fresh and well done. Although videogame parodies are certainly not a new thing around here or anywhere, it's as popular and well known to this culture as office jobs were to the audience of 'The Office'. Sorry to go off on a tangent slightly there, but I thought it fair to say that although Egoraptors' movies aren't the most amazing thing out there they are funny and appealing in this flash era, just like xaio xaio was at one point, which spawned so many other stick movies, or clock movies, or even to a lesser extent 'sitcom' style flash shows like Tomorrow's Nobodies where other shows like eddsworld series, college university, Oh My God, siblings etc.(not figurheading TN as leading this type of cartoon, just the most popular that came to mind) and even stuff like art style copies of famous NG artists like Dan Paladin and Lazyboy/Yotam Perel. I guess I'm debating something that isn't worth debating to an extent because there's always going to be a reason why it's wrong to let people create and express. We need to remember that a lot of people AREN'T animators, or striving to find creativity in their work, and Newgrounds is a place for entertainment, in general. Thing is, creativity is never as popular as it should or could be, hence the reason for sub-standard television almost 24/7.

We should definately strive for creativity, but success is an unfortunately linear formula. Once you strike it with a great concept, that formula is never far behind. For example, I know that you love the Toof series ;) and there were around 6 or 7 of them made if I remember correctly and loads of Weebl and Bob episodes. And I mean, you can't click through many pages without seeing a Jerry Jackson reference. At least people are taking the time to make flash movies, even if they are often unoriginal, but they're inspired to create something of their own. Great pride can come from the shittest animation, and there's always a great buzz when you get a review where someone's taken the time to acknowledge what you've made, whatever it might be.

to me, if you're not an animator or not learning to become one, i would wonder what you were doing here. as far as a niche audience, i think that is pretty clear. only an internet crowd could garner a positive response from something like that. show a newgrounds cartoon in a movie theater and i think you'd have an audience of completely baffled people. but it's what spawns from places like newgrounds that start slipping into bigger things.

the entertainment business looks more and more at the internet for what to market. if they're seeing a bunch of video game parodies and stick people on a big website, that's what they're going to market.

and people wonder why cartoons today suck.

It's enough to bring a tear to the eye.

"For thirty years animators who strive to create something genuinely unique have gotten nothing but a slap in the face. It's sickening and it has to stop someday, before they all disappear."

Yes, it's been this way since media has existed, and I don't see it changing any time soon. I suppose this is what makes 'unique' content so.... unique.

But I'm also tired of animators playing martyr to this whole phenomena, as by now it certainly shouldn't be surprising anyone. On the flip side, I think it seems to give some animators the idea that their random, unique, experimental, and 'different' animations are worth gold. I'm speaking generally of course.

Let's say I had never seen MGA2. or even MGA1. Let's say that it was currently on the front page, right next to some great new animation, that wasn't based on videogames, boobs, or whatever. Well, I'd probably still watch MGA. Why? I played Metal Gear Solid with my cousin years ago, as did many others, so chances are I would enjoy the content it has. I'm not saying I WOULDN'T watch the other one, but at the same time, I don't actively seek new material to watch. I'm busy working on my own projects, I usually don't feel like watching random stuff, so I'll pick something with immediate appeal if I indeed want to watch something. I can only speak for myself though.

You have to give credit to egoraptor- yeah, the awesome collections were getting bland but you can see the effort put into MGA2, much improved over the original. I could understand if something like neurotically yours was the inspiration for your news post, as that truly is repetitive garbage with no signs of self-improvement.

I myself aspire to be a better animator some day, when I have more time available to me to learn more skills. And when I get to that point I will animate the ideas that I want, because it's what interests me, knowing full well that I could easily be beaten out by the next hot topic.

you mentioned the fact you're not actively seeking new material to watch, and would just click on something because it's there. Well, that's my point. It's there, and nothing else really is, so that's all you'd watch.

I'm not talking about giving up because life isn't fair or whatever. That's not the point, and that's a stupid reason to quit animating. I think every animator should respect animation in itself and always be trying to improve, instead of beating a dead horse. But i don't see much of that.

If you think animation has always been a bad field to be involved in, I encourage you to read about the Warner Bros' era of animation.

ImpendingRiot = douchebag I havent read everyone's say here yet, but I'm confident that my opinion would just echo what other people have said already. basically, the only way to keep cartoons in the spotlight from being 'awesome' is to keep making your own work, and to keep inspiring others to do so too.

that being said, I agree with some of johnnyutah's points about liking ego's stuff too.

I think I see what your saying. But personally, as an animator with little talent and not much time to work on anything or practice, I'd trade originality and personal-satisfaction for fame and money IN A SECOND. I'm sure that tells you alot about my character.

I guess maybe it's because NG just attracts the kind of crowd that likes that sort of thing.

Ah well. Also I think Masterswordman was being sarcastic, mostly because of the last line of him mentioning Ego wanting to spend the rest of his life making "awesome" movies.

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